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CSU basketball begins prep for NCAA Tournament

The Rams are gearing up for their first appearance in 'The Big Dance' since 2013.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Colorado State went right back to work after Selection Sunday as the Rams get ready to face off against the Michigan Wolverines in the first game of March Madness on Thursday.

When asked about how late he stayed up to watch Michigan film, head coach Niko Medved said he did do some work Sunday night.

"I got a decent night’s sleep," he said at Monday's practice. "I was able to get back after the show and start watching some Michigan and I tried to put my head down for a while and got up this morning feeling pretty good and dove into more of it."

Every kid dreams about playing in the tourney -- and that includes former Golden High School star Adam Thistlewood, who was a two-time first team all state guard for the Demons.

"Every time you touch a basketball, it’s like the NCAA, the dance, man," Thistlewood said. "You always want to be dancing. Ever since playing in Golden High School gym, I’ve always dreamed this day would come true. I’ve gotten a couple text messages from people back in Golden."

Then there’s Dallas Baptist transfer Chandler Jacobs, who played in four straight Division II NCAA Tournaments, and brings that playoff experience to the Rams' roster.

"I definitely feel like I bring experience," Jacobs said. "Being a fifth-year guy, being a veteran just in general, there’s a lot of things that I’ve seen. I’m sure there'll be plenty of nerves on that massive of a stage but I think once those nerves subside I’ll be great."

With this being the CSU’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2013, that begs the question -- how will this squad balance having fun and enjoying the moment versus treating it like a business trip and getting a win to advance in the dance?

"It’s not just a happy-to-be-here mentally, although we are happy to be here," Medved said. "Stuff like this doesn’t happen every day, and if you don’t take a second to do that I think you’re missing the point of life."

No. 6 Colorado State and No. 11 Michigan tip off at 10:15 a.m. (MT) Thursday morning in Indianapolis.

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